The Detroit Red Wings are facing the grim and realistic prospect that there will be no continuation to its playoff streak. While it’s a shock to a generation of fans who have never seen a Spring without the Red Wings in the playoffs, it will provide some relief in knowing that the Wings could be picking new talent in the top 5 of the NHL draft. The Wings are cemented in last place, and with every passing game, look more and more like a team that needs to begin focus heavily on scouting young talent.
In Helene St. James’ recent article , several Red Wings are quoted and forward Gustav Nyquist says the team was “not very good” after a long road trip. The same could be said about the entire season. More from Nyquist via St. James:
“We know that if we play the way we should and we want to, we can be a good team. We have had stretches of showing that. I think a lot of guys in here are maybe squeezing their sticks — obviously, not producing like they want to over the course of the year. But you have to be stronger than that. You have to be mentally strong and get past that. Make sure you are helping your team out.
We’ve got half the season left, so we’ll stay positive here and win some home games.”
St. James adds herself that in seven games, the Wings only collected six points and worse, as they head home, it’s to another place where they haven’t fared well all season. St. James also reports that the Red Wings have to sustain consistency in order to gain some momentum if they are to play better.
Beyond games though, there are those who believe the Red Wings need to face the facts and realize what they are.
Wings Nation blogger Greg Brady writes that the Red Wings shouldn’t be focused on the playoffs at all and instead, begin operating in a way that favors a younger team learning to build. Brady projects that Detroit is only good for 80 points, which is not only a steep decline from last season, but also one that isn’t even close to a playoff spot.
While still playing for pride because they are professionals, Brady feels it’s coming to terms with the idea that playing for the future–while still giving their all–is the way to go. For Brady, optimism is welcome. But they should also be realistic as well.